Air pollution is considered one of the leading environmental risks. Specially, traffic is one of the most significant sources of air pollution in urban areas. Recently, research on this topic has pointed out important health effects not only in the human respiratory system but also in human cognition and cardiovascular illnesses for those who are exposed to pollution. Thus, we need citizens’ active involvement to change this situation. This toolkit helps students to deeply consider how to improve the air quality in cities by collecting and analysing data and discussing it with scientists, experts in global health, and other relevant groups (NGO, policymakers, etc).
The aim of this activity is to present air pollution as an important socio-scientific issue (SSI) both relevant to research and to students’ everyday life. Different tools are provided including authentic news from locals newspapers, in-person or video presentations of different stakeholders such as air pollution researchers or local policymakers.
The aim of this activity is to develop students’ modelling competence, enabling them to identify their own initial ideas about both clean and polluted air. They are asked to create drawings and written descriptions of how they imagine clean and polluted air, both as seen with the naked eye and in smaller scales.
The aim of this activity is to help students gain an understanding of air pollution that is compatible with its scientific definitions. Specifically, it focuses on the understanding of air pollution as the presence of suspended particulate matter (PM) in the air. Students first analyse which pollutant is usually referred to by the media when describing urban air quality. Then, they carry out a learning lab activity exploring an analogy – they compare the pollution generated by an engine to what happens when a peanut is burned instead.
The aim of this activity is to develop students’ critical thinking about what we understand by high-quality research in science. This activity is conducted in two steps: (1) reflecting about different ways of answering a scientific question; and (2) analysing the processes of carrying out research using quality criteria such as: validity, reliability, and usefulness.
The aim of this activity is to develop the students’ inquiry competence. In this sense, students in groups, helped by a specific scaffolding tool, need to plan and carry out their own research about air pollution in/around their school.
The aim of this activity is for students to learn what the air pollution data collected around their school is useful for. A professional scientist from the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) explains in a video how real data are collected both in national stations and by citizens. He also discusses how this data is used to make forecasts about air quality in our cities.
The aim of this activity is to make students aware of the consequences of air pollution exposure to human health. They also learn about some of the human body’s passive mechanisms that protect us against pollutants suspended in the air. Students analyse how different particles present in the air (such as particulate matter in suspension, dust, CO2…) may penetrate their bodies and which passive mechanisms our bodies use to prevent intrusion.
File repository system within the MULTIPLIERS website.